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Great. Thanks. And I Just Bought All These Bowties.

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Just back from an afternoon squirreled away at work, then dinner, over which I heard in passing that the Giants swept the Padres -- yay! -- and now this: Bill Neukom is being forced out as Giants' managing general partner. Here's the Merc article that broke the news. Good on ya, Mark Purdy.

So what does it all mean? The Purdy piece and this subsequent catch-up piece by Hank don't shed much light, except to say that the rest of the owners are steamed that Neukom wasn't a good communicator. Something to do with the way the World Series windfall was spent. But what does that mean? Did the post-World Series Giants spend too much money, or too little? Did Neukom order the profits rolled back into -- gasp -- player development, much to the consternation of the other owners?

We could all panic and say the Giants are going to cheap out on us again, with the venal owners extracting money from the franchise like a bayfront ATM instead of signing the 2013 version of Vladimir Guerrero. But since when has spending mad money on players actually worked for the Giants? OK, hiring good people to scout, which the team did a few years ago in a big revamp: I assume that cost money, and the team has definitely improved in that department. So, dear shadowy Giants owner figures: Please don't cut the scouting and player development budgets. More Pandas and Busters and Gary Browns and Romosexuals and MadBums and Baby Giraffes, please.

But nearly everyone who reads this site will agree that if "cheaping out" means avoidance of long-term, big-money free agent contracts, the team won't necessarily suffer. Other than Barry Bonds, the Giants haven't sagely forked over a boatload in twenty years. I'm not talking about players they traded for then re-signed, à la Jason Schmidt, Jeff Kent or Robb Nen. (Ellis Burks might be in there, too.) I'm talking goofy, bidding-war, open-market frenzy. Or, if Scott Boras is involved, "bidding war," nudge-nudge-wink-wink. Aaron Rowand. Barry Zito. Armando Benitez. Matt Morris. But since Neukom took over? Randy Johnson. Mark DeRosa. Aubrey Huff. Maybe the non-Neukom owners said, "Let's make sure Mark DeRosa never happens again." But that would be weird. The free agent duds of the Neukom Era have all been manageable because they've been short-term.

Or maybe that's their beef. They want Prince Fielder. Or Albert Pujols. Or CC Sabathia. They're tired of the Giants Way and want to go back to the Other Giants Way of signing Barry Bonds.

All this to say, I have no freaking clue. Despite the disappointment of the past month and a half, Neukom's Giants Way has been working. We've had competitive baseball that puts fans in the seats, puts young homegrown players on the roster, finds diamonds in the rough, and doesn't rely on overpriced mercenary megastars. You could quibble with certain moves or decisions, but generally the trend's been positive, and the team's a smart move or two away, plus better injury luck, from being next year's division favorite. Do the rest of the owners, now with Larry Baer installed in Neukom's seat, really want to mess with that? As suspicious as I am of people with money and power, I'm going to answer "no" until I see more evidence to the contrary.


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